Two years removed from his last tour of duty for Brgy. Ginebra, Justin Brownlee only had a few words upon his return in the PBA.
A long time coming.
Once again suiting up for the crowd darlings, the four-time PBA champion import bared his true sentiment in being able to play again in the country and for the Gin Kings for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic.
“To be honest, it’s been so long, it was like a dream come true,” Brownlee admitted after Brgy. Ginebra’s 80-77 come-from-behind win over the Alaska Aces in the first game of their 2021 PBA Governors’ Cup campaign.
The 2018 PBA Commissioners’ Cup Best Import also revealed that he attempted to return to the country earlier in the year to join Ginebra’s practice but his plan was derailed due to COVID-19 restrictions.
“I’ve been trying to come out here but restrictions and stuff like that have been very hard. It just was very overwhelming, I’m happy and just excited to come out here again,” Brownlee added.
Despite another all-around performance of 28 points, 10 rebounds, four assists, three steals and two blocks in his return, Brownlee stressed that there’s still more work to be done in his attempt to lead Brgy. Ginebra to a fourth Governors’ Cup crown in the last five editions of the import-laden conference
“I think I still have a bit to go to get all the way to game shape, especially like I was before,” he said. “But I’m just trying to work out as much as I can. It’s hard to simulate what we do in practice here and in games when you’re just practicing with one or two people in the gym.”
“But I’ve been trying to keep fit, running a couple of miles a day and things like that. It’s been a little tougher for me just coming back around this time,” Brownlee added.